Out of suffering


Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran

My daughter is suffering a bit now, with her illness. She’s OK, but just uncomfortable.

Late last night it got me thinking about how we aren’t used to suffering – almost every opportunity for “discomfort” in our lives has been replaced with some form of “comfort”.

Quick. Easy. Convenient. Simple. Cheap. Pain-free. And so on.

Wanna lose weight and get fit? Take a tablet. Don’t worry about the hard work of changing your eating habits, or working out. We wouldn’t want you to be uncomfortable at all.

How about that doodad you want to buy? Never mind that sacrifice of saving money to buy it – just chuck it on credit! Own it now, figure out the details later. Then you can wrap yourself in the comfort of instant gratification.

Scared of taking a risk? Just don’t take risks! Forget all about it. Be comfortable and safe right where you are. Eschew the dangerous/risky/failure-prone path; stay small and average and safe and comfy.

Unattractive? Have surgery to fix it! Never mind the extra life skills you might have to learn to stand out, succeed, and get by in a world that favours aesthetically pleasing folks. Don’t worry about the path of learning to love yourself fully, and the inner warmth, natural glow, and deep presence that springs forth from deep self love.

Feeling sick? Take all these medications to remove the symptoms of sickness, without treating The Root Cause. You’ll still be sick underneath, but at least you’ll be comfortable. Oh, and your body’s natural immune response? It’ll be quelled, to keep you comfortable. You won’t build up any immunity, so next time the same illness presents, you’ll get sick again. But at least you’ll have been comfortable.

Or, the alternative view:

Accept and embrace that:

Suffering makes us stronger.
Failure is how we learn.
Discomfort stretches our abilities.
Illness strengthens our bodies.
Sacrifice results in deeper appreciation for that which we ultimately attain.

We have become so determined to remain comfortable at all costs, that we are missing out on what it feels like to live.

Embrace discomfort.

Nothing amazing was ever accomplished by someone who chose comfortable, average, middle of the road, or safe.

With love,
Israel. xo